Our initial fear of driving through Mississippi with a 31ft “Occupy” billboard was quickly set aside when we arrived at the home of “Occupy Jackson”. This Occupy Camp, like so many, had just recently been evicted from the park, but then (thanks to a generous lawyer) were given space in an office building at 121 N. State St. on the 3rd floor. The exposed brick and wooden floors gave a warmth immediately upon arrival. The Occupiers were busy organizing their new space and getting ready for the Blues Marathon that was to begin early morning. Sandwiches were being made by Judy and Derenda. Signs were being made, songs being played on guitar and everyone pitched in to help. Immediately upon arrival we were offered sweet tea and Gumbo (excellent) as we settled in to hear the stories of Jackson, MS. Each person arriving greeted us with open arms and admiration for what we are doing.
Awakened by blues music at 6:30 am we scrambled outside to find joggers and walkers of every age and nationality readying themselves for a 26 mile marathon, from 45 States. As the runners lined up to receive their numbers and take place in the line up a few pictures were taken to capture the excitement.
Once the race was underway people in the crowd scattered, knowing that it would be 3 to 5 hours before the first runners would reappear to cross the finish line. During this time we used the office space to download, upload and update ourselves. At 11 am Jackie arrived at the office and invited Janet to a luncheon with the “Bodacious Broads”, which consisted of a suburb bunch of ladies who met once a month to discuss their trials and tribulations. Each and every one of these smart, well rounded ladies had a story to share and all agreed we needed to have a fairer, better government for the people.
The General Assembly was held at 2:30 that same afternoon where everyone came together in the board room to discuss items on the Agenda. The meeting was cordial, fully participated in and organized. It was an honor to be part of this group for almost two days and to have our fears set aside once we realized Jackson was just like every town America!